50 Names For London

By M@ Last edited 50 months ago
50 Names For London
Higher resolution version here.

As Shakespeare once almost said, London by any other name would smell as rank. The capital, in fact, has many names, both historic and modern. The French, Spanish and their former colonies plump for the familiar Londres, while the Italians favour Londra. In more far-flung lands, the Maori's know our city as Ranana, while native Hawaiians might speak of Lākana. The home nations show perhaps the most variation, with offshoots of Celtic yielding Londain, Loundres, Llundain and others.

We've plotted around 50 flavours of London in the map above. A few things to note, as this is a pedant's playground. First, it's in no way comprehensive — more a conversation piece to show how one place name can find many forms (we've also left off many repetitions). Second, a label on the map does not indicate that everybody in that location uses that term. The Manx word for London, for example, is Lunnin — whereas most residents of the Isle of Mann will simply say 'London'. Finally, place names are here written in the Roman alphabet, rather than indigenous writing systems like Cyrillic or Cantonese — so keep in mind that these are transliterations and open to alternative interpretations.

Source: The Geonames website was very helpful for compiling this map.

Last Updated 01 October 2015